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Therapeutic Riding Program

Lake Erie College is expanding our Therapeutic Riding Program. Single sessions are offered during Fall and Spring semesters with multiple session options available during the summer months. 

Lake Erie College is a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center.

Sign-up now for the 2019-2020 sessions!

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What is Therapeutic Horsemanship?

Equine-assisted activities dedicated to development of cognitive, emotional, physical and social skills. Activities include; grooming, leading and riding horses. These activities are done under the supervision of a Certified Instructor.

Who qualifies?

Children ages 8-14 weighing under 150 lbs with developmental disabilities. Children looking to improve problem-solving skills, independence, emotional awareness, social responsibility and impulse control. We are only able to accept ambulatory participants at this time.



Improve cognitive skills by using planning and judgement skills, memory, attention and the ability to put concepts to use. 


Horses naturally mirror emotion. Participants learn to identify emotional thoughts and feelings by working alongside equine partners.


Benefit from improved balance, strength, flexibility and motor skill development.


Build social skills by bonding with equine partners and volunteers.

Meet the instructor - Sarah Dwyer, PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Sarah received her PATH Intl. instructor certification in 2016 while working both with a start-up therapeutic riding center and as an intern at a large PATH center. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Lake Erie in 2018 in Business Administration/ Equine Entrepreneurship concentrated in Therapeutic Horsemanship. Formerly the Riding Director for a local camp program, Sarah enjoys teaching new riders. She is currently a Graduate Assistant at the college pursuing an MBA and working as the assistant coach of the college’s successful IHSA Hunt Seat Equestrian Team. Sarah has been riding and working at various barns in Michigan and Ohio for most of her life.

Meet the instructor - Melissa Hauserman

Melissa Hauserman, MBA, PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health & Learning, and  Certified EAGALA Equine Specialist, has more than 10 years of  experience teaching therapeutic riding and leading equine assisted activities for people with special needs.  In addition to teaching at Lake Erie College Theraeutic Riding Center she is the President and founder of a center that  focuses on providing mental heath services including Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning.  Melissa’s passion is creating innovative equine facilitated programs to serve people with emotional and physical needs. Previously she served as the Director of Program Quality for one of the largest therapeutic horsemanship centers in North America. She has owned and managed several horse facilities and worked for corporations including Michelin and American Express. 

Interested in Volunteering?

Whether you have horse experience or are new to working with horses, we are happy to prepare you to be a part of our program. Volunteers will attend a minimum of two, 1 ½ hour orientation and training sessions prior to volunteering.

George M. Humphrey Equestrian Center

The George M. Humphrey Equestrian Center is the home of the Equine Studies Program at Lake Erie College.  Participants will go to this center for their sessions.  8031 Morley Rd, Mentor, OH 44060.

Lake Erie College is a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center.